Vanity Fair: George W. Bush Emerges as 'Hipster Icon'

Thursday, 19 Dec 2013 01:48 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Former President George W. Bush is in the middle of a comeback — not in politics, but among hipsters who are coming to regard him as an icon.

It's a turnaround from the time when The New York Times feared that his using an iPod would make the Apple device "uncool," reports Vanity Fair. Now hipsters are seeing him more these days as the man who paints, posts pictures through Instagram, and loves cats rather than as the man who was the nation's two-term leader.

Editor’s Note: Obama’s Budget Takes Aim at Retired Americans

And as Bush's Internet image gets more viral, younger people are judging him less on his decisions concerning Hurricane Katrina and the search for weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East and more about being a "cool" and artsy older gentleman.

It also doesn't hurt Bush's emerging hip Internet image when he does things like writing a letter to University of Alabama kicker Cade Foster, who faced criticism and death threats after his team lost to rival Auburn in November, eliminating their chances at a national title.

Bush's letter, in which he wrote "Dear Cade (#43), Life has its setbacks. I know! However you will be a stronger human with time. I wish you all the best" has gone viral since last Wednesday, reports CNN, after Foster posted it online.

Bush's online image is also being boosted as well through decidedly un-presidential appearances such as a photograph of himself and his granddaughter posted on his Instagram account. The one-time "leader of the free world" looks much like any other with-it grandfather, wearing a backwards ball cap and baggy sweatshirt while gazing delightedly at his daughter Jenna's first-born.

And then there's Bush's painting hobby. After a hacker got access to his sister Dorothy's email account and released photos of two of Bush's painted self-portraits, the art world — a key meter of hipster respect — offered flowery praise of his work.

He's also released several new batches of his paintings, ranging from dogs and sunsets to a portrait of entertainer Jay Leno. This has led to websites such as the Huffington Post, which used to vilify the president and insult his intelligence, to start embracing him as an artist instead.

And as Bush's Internet fame grows, so-called hipsters and others who decree what is cool are getting younger and forgetting about Bush's past as a president and becoming more interested in which celebrity he'll paint next.


Editor’s Note: Obama’s Budget Takes Aim at Retired Americans

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